Landon Donovan Left Off World Cup Roster – Sound and Fury


Landon Donovan has been left off the U.S.’s 23-man World Cup roster. We discuss.

Joe Bianchino: Klinsmann!  That tricky German, going way outside the box and leaving the nation’s top World Cup scorer off the roster.  I don’t get it. We’re talking about a quality midfielder and the savvy, presence over the last decaade.  Donovan is USMNT, or at least has been for the last ten years.  We’re leaving that guy off?

Jeffrey Simpson Day: You’re absolutely right. Klinsmann should have included Donovan and left Wondolowski off instead.

Joe Bianchino: Now wait just a God damn second. No one’s saying that.

Mark Graydon: Are you kidding me? That decision is mental.  Landy-cakes – as I like to call him – is a potential match winner and one of the very few the U.S. has.

I doubt it’s any coincidence that the U.S. is in a group with the Germans, Klinsmann is German, and this is the decision he makes.  Conspiracy! Inside Job!

Joe Bianchino: I’m glad someone else said it.  I didn’t want to impugn the honor of Klinsmann – and we all know it’s not the actual reason Donovan will be left home – but it’s hard to see any other explanation.

Lest we forget Ian Darke’s call from last World Cup’s victory of Algeria sending us into the second round: “And Dempsey is denied again, but Donovan has scored.” Donovan.  That’s what he does for this team, and he’s the one they leave off.  I don’t get it.

Can anyone find a legitimate soccer reason for this?

Mark Graydon: Honestly, I think the sabbatical Donovan took last year pissed Klinsmann off, and it’s become an ego thing for him.  He’s trying to stamp his authority right now.

But he’s made his bed now.  Whenever the U.S. gets knocked out, everyone will say, “If Landon was there…”

…Unless they win.

Joe Bianchino: Which, of course, they won’t.

If it really is ego, and I agree that it is, the U.S. should look at Klinsmann as coach. The program has come a long way under him, but he’d be letting some petty nonsense get in the way of the World Cup roster with regard to, I think we’d all agree, a player they need. And he would have disgraced one of the best players in U.S. history in what should have been an international send off.

Inexcusable trash decision.

Mark Graydon: Totally agree.

Jeffrey Simpson Day: So we’re just going to condemn him without even seeing how they do? Without knowing how Donovan looked in training?

Let me ask you this, where do we come down on the Argentinians excluding Carlos Tevez from their final roster? Because it’s a similar situation. Admittedly, Argentina might just possibly have maybe a tiny bit more firepower than the U.S., but we’re talking about two older players who have had problems with their coaches.

And I don’t hear anyone up in arms over Carlos “I’m Bringing Snood Back” Tevez getting the dis.

Or even Nasri “See, You Don’t Need To hAve a Chin To Save City Down The Stretch” being left off the French squad.

Now I’m not going to give Klinsmann a pass, but I’m at least committing to giving him a shot before I pass judgement.

Joe Bianchino: Damn Jeff and his, what do you call it, logic.

Mark Graydon: Tevez’s situation was a bit surprising, but really, when you have Aguero, Lavezzi and Messi with Higuain and Palacio, you have plenty of options.

Actually , that’s just plain greedy.

The Argentinians don’t need Tevez, and, truth be told, he can be a bit of a prick.

Joe Bianchino: Right.  Tevez’s history with team and coaching problems is far more outlandish than Donovan’s.  And Nasri, if memory serves, was a member of 2010’s historically controversial/disappointing/disgraceful French squad, and I wouldn’t think there’s anyone above reproach after that.

You’re larger point, though, Jeff, certainly has merit. My judgements are being made, largely, on play from four years ago and his current solid work with the Galaxy.  So there’s certainly room for Klinsmann to see something I don’t.  I just can’t imagine there being a difference so dramatic it warrants leaving him home.

Jeffrey Simpson Day: That really is greedy by the Argentinians.

Joe Bianchino: By the way, to bring us full circle, I think we can all agree that it really is all on Wondolowski now.

Which was maybe Klinsmann’s plan all along.


Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – Shakespeare

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